Microsoft SQL Server 2014 reaches the end of lifecycle; What to expect

Microsoft will launch the Extended Security Updates (ESU) for SQL Server 2014 for purchase starting July 1, 2024, for customers (organizations) who are not able to upgrade to a higher version or migrate to Azure. 

Microsoft will no longer issue any updates to SQL Server 2014 as it reaches the end of a 10-year lifecycle on July 9, 2024. 

The Extended Security Updates (ESU) offer is for a three-year period where critical security updates will be pushed by Microsoft. Note however that Microsoft will only provide periodic updates only when they determine a critical security issue warrants it.   

These updates are available to customers who have purchased the ESU for SQL Server 2014. The coverage period varies based on the purchase method, but it will end no later than July 8, 2027.  

What other options are available to your organization? 

1. Upgrade to a newer SQL Server 2019 or 2022 

  • A more recent version provides improved performance and functionality 

With each new release, Microsoft introduces new features and enhancements that improve the overall performance and functionality of SQL Server. This means that upgrading to a newer version can lead to faster query execution, improved security, and better support for advanced analytics.   

  • Access to latest security updates 

As with any software product, security vulnerabilities may be discovered in older versions of SQL Server. By upgrading to a newer version, your organization can ensure that you have access to the latest security updates and patches. This helps protect against potential cyber threats and keep sensitive data safe.   

  • Compatibility with newer applications 

As technology advances, new applications may become available that require a more recent version of SQL Server. By upgrading, your organization can ensure compatibility and avoid any disruption in your operations. This is especially important if your organization relies heavily on databases for day-to-day operations.  

2. Migrate to Azure

  • Cost savings 

One of the main advantages of migrating to Azure is cost savings. With on-premises servers, you must bear the expenses for hardware, maintenance, and licensing fees. However, with Azure, you only pay for what you use and can easily scale up or down based on your needs. This allows for more efficient resource utilization and can result in significant cost savings.   

  • Improved security 

Azure offers advanced security features such as encryption at rest and in transit, role-based access control, and threat detections. These features are designed to provide an extra layer of protection for your data, making it a more secure option than on-premises servers. Moreover, Azure follows strict compliance standards and has multiple certifications, ensuring that your data is safe and secure.  

3. Speak to an independent Microsoft cloud license expert  

The independent expert will guide you to make the best decision per your unique circumstances considering how complex the nature of IT infrastructure and the potential risks involved. In the case of our team of cloud licensing experts, we can offer independent valuable insights solely with your interest as top priority and not the vendor’s interest.   

We further have extensive knowledge and experience with various IT environments that you can leverage on for not only your SQL Server 2014 related issue, but for your entire IT estate. You can be sure we have likely encountered similar situations due to years of experience in various industries and have a few tricks up our sleeves to offer solutions.   

Aside the technical aspects you need to consider, we can help you with licensing-related issues to save you on cost and avoid non-compliance. Depending on your unique business needs and goals we can share with you the best option that will align making your continuous use of SQL Servers seamless.   

Our cloud experts are also able to save your organization time and resources by avoiding trial-and-error methods. In case you don’t have a license roadmap or even if you do, we will work together to provide a clear roadmap for the upgrade process, license positioning and how to continuously minimize licensing costs.  

Effects of failing to consider any options as Microsoft SQL Server reaches end of cycle 

  • Potential security risks 

As Microsoft ends support for SQL Server 2014, there will be no longer release updates or security patches. Your organization’s not considering upgrades or future options will leave you vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches. This could result in financial losses, damaged reputation, and legal consequences.   

  • Compatibility issues 

This occurs when you continue using an unsupported version of SQL Server with other software and applications. As technology advances, newer versions of software may not be compatible with the outdated SQL Server, hindering your organization’s ability to stay up-to-date and competitive in their industry.  

  • Higher costs 

Not considering options for transitioning to a new database system can also lead to higher costs in the long run. While your organization may save money initially by not upgrading or migrating, you will eventually have to invest in a new system or pay for extended support from Microsoft, which can be significantly more expensive.   

  • Potential regulatory implications 

Depending on the industry and location, there may be specific regulations or compliance requirements that mandate the use of supported software to protect sensitive data. In breach of this can have its own consequences which you may want to avoid.   

Tips to meet Microsoft SQL Server 2014 end of life requirement   

  • Plan ahead 

Don’t wait until the deadline to start considering options for transitioning to a new database system. It is best to start planning at least a year in advance, allowing enough time for research, budget, and or before implementation.   

  • Evaluate your needs 

Assess your organization’s current and future data storage and management needs before choosing a new database system. Consider factors such as data volume, complexity, performance requirements, and integration with other applications.   

  • Test and plan for potential disruptions 

Before making the switch to a new database system, it is essential to test its functionality and compatibility with existing applications. It is also crucial to have a backup plan in case of any unexpected disruptions during the transition.   

Talk to our team of experts about your SQL Server 2014 end of lifecycle 

We can make available for your organization access to our network of resources with guidance to help you make the best fits.   

We will look into your unique circumstance and guide you also on how to rightly license your SQL Server to ensure a smooth transition to newer technologies without compromising on security or performance.    

With the end of SQL Server 2014 approaching, now is the time to start planning and consider all available options for upgrading. Don’t wait until it’s too late, contact us let’s start exploring your options today and pave the way for a more efficient and modern data platform for your organization.   

Note that upgrading from SQL Server 2014 is not just a technical decision but also a strategic one that can greatly impact your organization’s efficiency, productivity, and overall success.   

contact form